For lawyers, the most important step in securing new business is the client intake. This is your moment to set yourself apart from other law offices, demonstrate your concern and provide an empathic ear. During client intake, you’ll also want to be sure to get all the facts and necessary information about your potential client and their case.
The right client intake questions will not only help determine whether the client is a good fit for your business, they will also make your potential client feel like you understand their needs. This first interaction sets the tone for the entire attorney-client relationship.
Execute these four steps to ensure a successful client intake — every time.
1. Complete All Intake Questions
Save yourself a future hassle. Ensure that your client intake questions are complete before moving forward. Missing information can cause major headaches and wasted time. Conflict checking will be a nightmare if you don’t have a full overview of the client and all of their contact info.
2. Do It Digitally
The more of the client intake process that you can complete digitally, the easier it is for you and the prospective client. Offer clients the option to submit questionnaires electronically and sign documents via E-signature.
Faxing and scanning signed documents is often a major inconvenience for clients. As you move more of your business online, you’ll be able to streamline your workflow and maximize your time.
3. Stay On Track
Don’t let potential clients slip through the cracks. Develop a system and track where each client is in the intake process. Be sure to follow up with clients who have not completed all intake questions. You’ll also want to make it a priority to respond to all prospective clients in a timely manner.
4. Remember to Listen
If a client is seeking your help, chances are they’re going through a turbulent time in their personal life or business. While remaining professional is always the number one priority, a caring and empathetic lawyer can help their client in many more ways.
Don’t forget that what may seem like a simple problem for you could be life-shattering to your client. A kind word coupled with your legal advice will go a long way. and engage when speaking with clients.
Find What Works for You
Efficient and thorough client intakes are the foundation of any successful law practice. As you build your practice you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work. Be sure to share your intake policies with any support staff you employ.